Coalition Letter: Reject Carbon Taxes

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor,

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our respective organizations, we write to strongly urge a floor vote on the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 24, expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy. The last thing that Americans want today is a higher tax burden, and that is exactly what a carbon tax is. 

A carbon tax would be a new, broad-based source of revenue to enable ever-growing federal spending. The federal tax system has never yielded more than 21 percent of gross domestic product in total revenue. A carbon tax would, like a value-added tax, take productive capital away from Americans and instead enable a permanent increase in the size of the federal government. Increasing the size of the federal government will only slow economic growth.

While the White House publicly denies plans to propose a carbon tax, there are thousands of internal Treasury Department documents discussing the issue that the administration refuses to release to the public. Their secrecy in these matters is extremely troubling. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently introduced carbon tax legislation, there have been persistent rumors that such a tax could be included in a secretly negotiated deficit-reduction package, and there are rumors of attempts to include a carbon tax in a debt ceiling agreement.

A carbon tax would increase energy prices by design, exacerbating pain at the pump and raising the price of electricity and home heating fuels. The poorest Americans would be hit the hardest because they spend the largest share of their income on energy. People on fixed incomes would take a terrible financial hit as they would be forced to pay more for energy.

According to a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturers, under a popular carbon tax proposal, output could drop by as much as 15 percent in energy-intensive sectors of our economy and 7.7 percent in non-energy intensive sectors, destroying millions of jobs.  Even the Europeans are moving away from deliberately making energy more expensive as the economic toll from their disastrous policies is becoming clearer. The U.S. should learn from these failed policies, not embrace them.

The American people and the 133 cosponsors of this concurrent resolution understand that a carbon tax is not about protecting the environment, but rather it is a cynical attempt to raise revenue for Washington’s insatiable appetite for more and more spending. Supporters claim that a carbon tax would not increase taxes since revenues would be offset by reductions elsewhere, but careful analysis shows what the American people instinctively know to be true— new taxes always lead to a higher tax burden for Americans, regardless of promises that are made about “revenue neutrality”.

Under these circumstances, it is critical for the House to take a clear and unequivocal stand that it understands how economically destructive a carbon tax would be. We therefore urge a Floor vote on the carbon tax resolution and urge your support. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

60 Plus Association
American Commitment
American Conservative Union
American Energy Alliance
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Tradition Institute  
Caesar Rodney Institute
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Freedom Works
Freedom Action
Frontiers of Freedom
George C. Marshall Institute
Heartland Institute
Heritage Action
Independent Women’s Forum
National Center for Public Policy Research
Positive Growth Alliance
Taxpayers Protection Alliance